Coronavirus | KUER 90.1

Coronavirus

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

President Trump says he may consider grounding some or all flights as a coronavirus pandemic mitigation measure but also said on Wednesday he wants to apply the lightest touch possible in managing the disaster.

Phot of young girls in front of shelves of canned goods.
Courtesy Emily Cottam.

When coronavirus hit Utah, people started panic buying — stocking up on food, supplies and lots of toilet paper. Empty shelves have become a defining image of the pandemic. 

But for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stockpiling food and supplies is nothing new. Some are even using their food storage to help others in this moment of crisis. 

Photo of the salt lake city downtown library
Brian Grimmett

For entertainment during social distancing, you might be relying on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+, but what about your local library?

Photo of downtown Salt Lake City during a past year's arts festival
KUER file

Tuesday evening, March 31, 2020

Photo of gary herbert speaking from behind a podium
Screengrab from video via Facebook Live

Utah plans to issue a Major Disaster Declaration Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo illustration of an eviction notice taped to a door
Anastasiia_New / iStock

The $2 trillion federal relief fund signed by President Trump last week means help is on the way for many Americans struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The package offers direct cash payments and expanded unemployment benefits, as well as an extended tax filing deadline and more options to make retirement contributions.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

America must brace for 100,000 or more people to die in the coming months in the coronavirus pandemic, the White House's response team warned Tuesday.

"As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist helping to steer White House policy on the disaster. "No one is denying the fact that we are going through a very, very difficult time right now."

Screengrab showing Jonathan Nez sitting at a disk speaking into a microphone
Screengrab from video via Facebook

The Navajo Nation is imposing a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on all residents in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. It went into effect on Monday at 8 p.m, but it’s not yet enforceable, according to the Navajo Nation police chief.

Photo of children playing on a playground
unionland via Flickr

Monday evening, March 30, 2020

Photo of medical gloves and a mask
Yevhenii Orlov via iStock

Proper protection for health care workers is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, but supplies are running low. To learn more about the basics of personal protective equipment, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Dr. Rachael Jones, an industrial hygiene expert who teaches at the University of Utah. 

An empty road approaches a park entrance booth, which is out of sight. A rocky ridge rises up in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks closed indefinitely on Saturday, following calls from local governments and public health departments to temporarily shut down the parks to visitors due to coronavirus concerns. 

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump warned Americans on Monday to prepare for more disruption and death as he and other authorities extended mitigation procedures for several more weeks amid the widening coronavirus disaster.

Trump acknowledged on Sunday that his goal for a return to normalcy by Easter won't happen, and he extended the federal guidelines for social distancing and mitigation to April 30. He said on Monday that the pandemic will take longer than he hoped to abate.

Jake Billington has worked at the livestock auction at the Twin Falls Livestock Commission in southern Idaho for 28 years.


Photo of Bob Garff.
Courtesy Garff Industries

Monday morning, March 30, 2020

Your Questions About COVID-19, Answered 

Our reporters are working hard to answer your questions about COVID-19. These responses are curated by the Mountain West News Bureau and our public media partners at America Amplified

Photo of a sign explaining UTA restrictions
Brian Albers / KUER

Friday evening, March 27, 2020

Screengrab from a video of Erin Mendenhall talking to the camera
Screengrab from video via Twitter

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall issued a stay at home order Friday evening, with exceptions for essential travel like grocery shopping, seeking medical care, and outdoor recreation. 

Photo of a tent in the foreground at a developed campsite by a lake with campers in the background
Carolyn Dailey for KUER

San Juan County’s health department announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 Friday morning. Minutes later, the department issued an order to curb tourism in the county. 

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday just hours after the House approved it amidst the deepening crisis over the pandemic.

"This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses. And that's what this is all about," Trump said at a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.

Photo of downtown Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Friday morning, March 27, 2020

“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in almost 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains.

We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado. 

“I'm the mayor and chief of police,” he said. “I hold elections every year but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well.”

Ethel Branch is the former attorney general of the Navajo Nation. A few weeks ago, when she went grocery shopping in Flagstaff, Arizona, she noticed that the shelves were already pretty bare. That worried her. For shoppers from the nearby Navajo Nation, a grocery store can be hours away.

Photo of a man in a red jacket wearing a mask and working
Courtesy of SugarHouse Industries

Companies across Utah have been suspending their normal operations due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, some businesses, like Ogden’s Own and Sugarhouse Industries, have shifted their production to meet the growing demand for gloves and masks and even things like sanitizer. 

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

iStock.com

Since people in Utah began widely practicing social distancing a few weeks ago, local law enforcement has reported a spike in domestic violence calls. But that number only reflects part of the problem, since many people don’t report abuse to police. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Jennifer Oxborrow, the executive director of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, who says the global pandemic is intensifying abusive relationships.

Photo of a person wearing a face mask waiting to cross the street
Brian Albers / KUER

Thursday evening, March 26, 2020

Photo of the outside of the University of Utah Hospital building
Wikimedia Commons

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to increase, Utah’s hospitals and doctors are preparing for a surge that many predict is inevitable. 

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic.

The entrance of the Washington County Administrative Building is framed between two palm trees. A large sign sits out front.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — When the Millard county commission declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, their county became the 19th in Utah to do so in a little over two weeks. 

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